Yesterday, we celebrated a major victory as the U.S. Senate passed the KONY 2012 resolution supporting President Obama’s strategy to stop the LRA. Originally introduced in March 2012, the resolution (S.Res.402) does several important things: it condemns Kony’s atrocities, calls for increased U.S. efforts to help protect civilians, urges President Obama to use funds that Congress has authorized for his LRA strategy, and calls on the President to keep Congress informed of progress in the mission.
Thanks to the hard work of Congress and thousands of Kony 2012 activists who called, wrote, and met with their Senators this spring, the resolution has the endorsement of 47 Republican and Democratic cosponsors and it passed unanimously through the Senate. Huge feat.
Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), who co-wrote the resolution and is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, had this to say about the resolution’s passing:
“Kony and the LRA have terrorized Uganda and its neighbors in central Africa for more than two decades, tearing families apart and destroying communities. Joseph Kony represents the worst of mankind, and he and his commanders must be held accountable for their war crimes. I applaud my colleagues for unanimously passing this bipartisan resolution condemning the crimes committed by the LRA and supporting ongoing regional efforts to bring Kony and top LRA commanders to justice once and for all.”
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who also authored the resolution:
“This resolution reinforces my important legislation that we passed in 2011 called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. It further puts the Senate on record against the terror acts of Joseph Kony and his LRA.”
This exciting progress comes on the heels of Secretary Clinton’s trip to Uganda to speak with President Museveni about regional security cooperation and joint counter-LRA efforts. So basically this week feels like the most productive week ever.
Where do we go from here? In addition to hoping President Obama frames and mounts that Congressional letter right next to his desk in the Oval Office, we’re also gearing up for an action-packed fall that will be full of opportunities for you to make sure that the President and Congress – as well as other world leaders – stay the course and do all they can to help stop Joseph Kony and end LRA violence once and for all.